collections

collections we love.

col·lec·tion
kəˈlekSH(ə)n/
noun

an assembly of items such as works of art, pieces of writing, or natural objects, especially one systematically ordered. 

Would you consider yourself a collector? You very well may be. 

Collections can be inherited, gathered over the years, bought when traveling, found all at once, created by your own hands, or slowly grow one piece at a time. They can be practical, sentimental, humorous, or all of the above.

We are so lucky to spend time with our clients, getting to know them and their stories. In their homes, we often discover beautiful pieces of history, family memorabilia, and one of a kind pieces of art. To collect is truly artistic. It requires selection, preference, taste and intentionality. 

Collections may be displayed in your home and they may be private. Your reasons for collecting are personal as well. You might collect to display your personality in your home to all who enter, and you may collect to build a compilation of meaningful pieces that will be passed on to a family member or dear friend. We wanted to share some of the most remarkable collections we've come across in the homes of our amazing clients. 

We'd love to see some of your favorite collections. Snap a photo of your collections and tag us on instagram or facebook. Thanks for sharing your treasured collections with the #HYD team! 

*Blog image source: Town And Country Magazine

Come on in

Walking in the backdoor of this Cape Cod nestled in the heart of Fountain City, one is immediately at home. As a guest, you're greeted with enormous smiles, warm hugs, and a glass of your favorite beverage within minutes. There's no doubt that for the 30 years Peter and Julie have lived here, they've learned a bit about making a house, a home.

The Wolf home in 1986

The Wolf home in 1986

The Wolfs bought this little home back in the mid-80s with two young boys and family heirlooms to fill the rooms. Prior to landing in Fountain City, they'd been in California, St. Thomas, Michigan, and a few other stops before finally setting down some roots here in East Tennessee. Peter grew up sailing and Julie grew up around the lakes of Michigan. The influence of the sea is evident in the color schemes and artwork throughout the house.

Peter and Julie's style is a wonderful mix of traditional, eclectic, primitive, country, and little Pottery Barn sprinkled in. Julie mentioned that very early on, she and Peter shared very similar tastes in home decor and they love to do "the work" together. Whether it's refinishing a piece, finding the right spot in the house for a new treasure, or working in their outdoor space, they've been a team since day one. Julie really is a girl after our own hearts in that she really likes a place "clean and tidy, I like it less cluttered," she says. In 2000, they were able to put a wonderful addition on the back of the house adding a great room for entertaining, a master suite, and two car garage with an upstairs. The heart of the remodel kept in mind the idea of having people over. Last year, they were even able to host their niece's wedding in the backyard and it was a huge success!

Addition in 2000

Addition in 2000

Julie wants every guest to feel right at home upon arrival. "I want folks to feel like they can get a glass of water if they'd like and that my home is their home. I truly want them to feel totally comfortable." She celebrates so many of their guests throughout the years by showcasing many of the generous gifts family and friends have given them over the years. This is where the eclectic part of their decor comes from. "If i find something I like or if someone gives me something I just find a place for it." Both she and Peter love the stories connected with the pieces in their home and they love to tell you how each one made it's way to Forest Lane.


Peter at work in his home office

Peter at work in his home office

The Gathering Table

The Gathering Table

When we asked what home means to them, Peter quickly answered, "The place I'd rather be than anywhere else." Peter has travelled with his work for over 30 years, spending countless nights in hotel rooms all over the US and Canada. He cherishes his time at home with his family, friends, and projects. Julie says she has multiple favorite spots in her house depending on what the activity but if she had to pick, the big round oak table would probably be top of the list. Gathering with family and friends over a meal and a glass of wine fills her heart like nothing else.

Julie working in her "nest"

Julie working in her "nest"


We also loved Julie's thoughts on collections. She said, "Collections just happen to you." Over the years she may have purchased one or two pitchers and was given a few from her mother and before she knew it, a pitcher collection was born. She loves to think of the giver as she uses each pitcher or any gifted home item in her home. Sometimes the gifts aren't necessarily decor items, but just stuck in a drawer and Julie will find them at times, hold them, take a moment to reflect on that time, that person, and enjoy the memory.


Our last stop of the tour was in the stained-glass studio in the upstairs of their garage. For about a decade now, each Wednesday night, up to 9 women meet for a meal, a beverage, plenty of laughs, and some time in the studio creating all kinds of beautiful pieces. This extension of their home has allowed the Wolfs to bless others by giving them a space to create but also a space to connect with others.

Finally, this particular home tour holds a special place in one of the dwellers hearts as I've spent many hours over the last 30 years being loved so so well within the walls of the Wolf home. My family has shared Thanksgivings, baby and wedding showers, birthdays, a wedding, and so much more with the Wolfs. They have been great stewards of this warm and welcoming home they've been given and I am so fortunate to have been one of the recipients.

Thanksgiving 2014 - The whole Wolf gang

Thanksgiving 2014 - The whole Wolf gang

5 easy ways to spruce up your living room

I have found that sometimes it's the little things that transform a room. Because many of us have a budget that doesn't allow for frequent redecorating, knowing a few tricks of the trade can be a great way to change up a room without breaking the bank. If you find yourself feeling like your living space is a bit drab maybe these tips will help. 

1. One of the best pieces of decorating advice I've ever received is to "shop your own house". Take a walk in and out of every room. Notice what your favorite things in each room are and mentally note whether or not your would be willing to rearrange.  Because a living room is a common area, a place where many entertain, and usually the most trafficked room in a house, I encourage people to display their favorite things in this room.

2. Often we have a hard time really seeing our own home because we live in it. Invite a friend over and ask them to take a look at your space. Sometimes friends can help you see if a room feels too cluttered, too minimal, too matchy-matchy, or is clashing. This can leave you feeling a bit vulnerable but I've had great results when I've had an extra set of eyes viewing my space and offering suggestions.

3. One way to add dimension to your living room is to layer neutrals or colors in varying tones. Using creams and grays and browns with a little minimal pattern thrown in can make a room feel so much more interesting. Often times stores sell sets of matching items like throw pillows, blankets etc. Try mixing a few different patterns and shades of colors to your existing pillows or throws for a more eye catching effect.

4.If you have collections of things, try displaying them all together rather than placing them in multiple rooms throughout your home. If you love vintage camera's try staging them all on a shelf or two. If you love glass bottles, group them together  etc. Collections offer a focal point and will spark conversation.

5. If you have a mantel in your living room think about painting it. Rather than repainting the entire room, painting your mantel can change the ambiance of the room without having to embark on a major paint job. You may want to add a pop of color if your living room is mostly neutrals or maybe you want to bring depth into your room and paint it black. If painting is out of the question, try a new mantel arrangement. A collage of different sized framed photos will soften a formal mantel. You could add an arrangement of potted plants or framed art in varying sizes. Change things around and sit with it for a few days. If you don't like it then keep playing until you find something that works for you.



We would love to see  before and afters of your own spaces!